Ohio University reported Thursday evening that it has officially lifted the suspensions on some Interfraternity Council (IFC) fraternities and several other student organizations, and modified the status of many other student organizations that were under investigation for hazing.
The university also released the details of the hazing allegations against all student organizations. Upon receiving allegations of hazing over the last three or so weeks, the university had moved to suspend the activities of a total of nine IFC fraternity chapters; three sorority chapters (with the Women’s Panhellenic Association); two business fraternities; the men’s rugby club; and OU’s Marching 110.
The university also suspended all other IFC fraternities despite them not having allegations of hazing against them because of the large number of allegations it received against the other IFC chapters in a short period of time in early October (around 48 hours). Suspensions against those non-accused chapters – Phi Gamma Delta, Phi Delta Theta, Pi Kappa Alpha and Phi Kappa Tau – have been lifted, as well as against Delta Tau Delta, which had been accused of hazing.
Meanwhile, the university is keeping up its suspension of IFC chapters Beta Theta Pi, Lambda Chi Alpha, Phi Kappa Psi and Sigma Chi, as well as against the Men’s Rugby Club and the Marching 110.
Meanwhile, many other of the suspended organizations have had “modified restrictions” placed on them, meaning that they can continue to meet and do most of their usual activities, including social activities, but they must be supervised by a “staff person or adviser,” OU spokesperson Carly Leatherwood said Friday.
Those groups with modified restrictions are: Fraternity chapters Pi Kappa Phi, Alpha Kappa Psi, Acacia, Pi Chi Theta, Alpha Epsilon Pi, Theta Chi, and sorority chapters Pi Beta Phi, Delta Zeta and Chi Omega.
Restrictions have been lifted “conditionally” against Delta Upsilon and Sigma Phi Epsilon, according to the OU release. Those fraternity chapters were not referenced as being suspended in prior OU communications, and no allegations against them were included in the release of records.
The NEWS will include reporting of the allegations against the still-suspended fraternities below, and will update this story as we learn more about the other allegations. The great majority of the allegations are second-hand or hearsay, rather than having been directly reported by members.
Beta Theta Pi
Ariel Tarosky, director of sorority and fraternity life at OU, received two allegations regarding Beta Theta Pi. The first came from a student who reported seeing members of that chapter taking “safes and trunks out of the house because of the rumor circulating around the SFL community that fraternity houses were getting raided,” Tarosky reported, with the student alleging that they were filled with drugs.
“She continued to talk about the hazing that occurs about all in the fraternities but specifically in Beta Theta Pi because they take it ‘further than it needs to go,’” Tarosky reported of the student, who did not disclose her name. “She said that she has had new members of Beta disclose to her that they have been hazed badly but they do such a good job at keeping their members quiet.”
The other allegation was reported by a source who knew somebody in the fraternity (the exact connection between the source and the fraternity member was redacted in the report). Tarosky reported that the source said the former member reported being forced to clean the active fraternity brothers’ houses; would be forced to “excessively drink"; would lock them in a room and “interrogate them for hours until they broke down"; and would lock them in a basement for days and make them listen to the same song for hours, or just have them sit blindfolded; they would also have to wake up every morning at 4 and run five miles around campus.
The Marching 110 had the largest number of hazing allegations reported against it, according to the records provided by the university. Three out of the four allegations all reference new members having a hole burned in their jackets and being forced to dirty their jackets – some of the reports allege that happens by rolling or “being pushed down a hill.”
One of the reports alleges that somebody heard information second-hand about a member of the 110 going through that practice, alleging that the other members "beat the shit out of them (jackets)."
One of the reports was from Richard Suk, professor of music and director of the Marching 110. He explained that there’s a “tradition” of students conditioning their jackets to look worn, and said that since 2014, “we have been supervising the dirtying event.” However, two student leaders reported that in fall 2017 and fall 2018, 110 members would gathered at a fellow student’s house and muddy up a spot there, and would be “sliding through the mud, wrestling with each other, and rolling around with them on.” Suk said he told the students that “does not comply with instructions given.”
Another report from a parent alleged that a new 110 member had been “repeatedly” encouraged and “almost forced” to attend partier and drink alcohol, despite being somebody who “does not drink and does not believe in it.”
Lambda Chi Alpha
Lambda Chi Alpha had three reports of hazing and other misconduct filed against it. Tarosky received one report alleging that the fraternity group had an event with alcohol after the suspension was announced, on Oct. 4.
Another report from a parent of a former member of Lambda Chi fraternity member alleges that her son was “hazed, kept in a damp basement, drank to excess and had his phone taken” for a week.
“He had an asthma attack and thank GOD his ‘brothers’ took him to the ER,” the parent reported, calling the fraternity culture “dangerous.”
The university received two reports of hazing against Sigma Chi through its misconduct reporting website. One report alleges that somebody overheard a new member talking in fall 2018 about new members being forced to carry kegs “back and forth” and do all-sits for 15-20 minutes while brothers were “sitting on their laps and kicking their legs out from under them.”
The report also alleges that the fraternity has a weighted dummy called “Butch” that new members are required to carry everywhere and clean and dress.
The other report came from a graduate assistant who mentioned things that a Sigma Chi pledge in his class had allegedly said. The pledge apparently said he had no free time for any other activities outside of for the fraternity. The grad assistant also noticed that he had cuts all over his face, hands and arms, and his eyes were “swollen,” although the pledge did not give any indication that this was due to his status as a pledge.
Men’s Rugby Club
The men’s rugby club had a single report of hazing filed against it through OU’s complaint reporting portal.
“A friend contacted me after being forced to drink a ‘mad dog’ handle, which is liquor, then forced to run around naked, then chug a beer and tag a car with his genitals,” the report reads. “This is not the first time I’ve heard of forced drinking within the rugby team. Or coerced drinking, I should say.”
Phi Kappa Psi
Phi Kappa Psi had one allegation of hazing reported against it, involving a source overhearing a new member talking about his experience pledging, noting he had to participate in a “Hell Week.” The student said during that week, new members were “secluded to the basement for the entire week and not allowed to bathe, sleep at home, do homework, or go anywhere else other than class.”
The university also reported it had received the same allegation of pledges being forced to participate in a “Hell Week” event with Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity as well, with the same kind of basement seclusion alleged.